Where the Locals Eat in Detroit’s Mexicantown
In Detroit, Mexican restaurants are never hard to come by—if you know where to look. Some of the best food in the city lives southwest of downtown Detroit, in a vibrant neighborhood called Mexicantown. You probably couldn’t go wrong at any of them, but here’s a rundown of some of our favorite Mexicantown restaurants.
For a Family-Friendly Atmosphere: Taqueria Mi Pueblo
Why it’s great: There are many great Detroit Mexican restaurants, but few get the consistent praise this one does. Locals cherish the family-owned Mi Pueblo for its authentically delicious food, excellent margaritas, and warm atmosphere.
What to eat: The corn tortillas on the tacos are made to order, and you can’t really go wrong with any taco dish. For an appetizer, try the botana—a nacho dish gone haywire, with corn tortilla chips smothered in chorizo, cheese, refried beans, tomatoes, avocados, green peppers, and jalapeños.
For Late-Night Takeout: Armando’s Mexican Restaurant
Why it’s great: Armando’s has much going for it during the daytime—the bar serves excellent margaritas, the outdoor patio area is perfect for summer hangouts, and the lunch buffet hits the spot. But the no-frills restaurant wins a lot of points for being open till 2 a.m., when hunger pangs are most difficult to conquer.
What to eat: Armando’s may not have the truly authentic flavor of some nearby places, but when it’s midnight and you’re hungry, those concerns start to go out the window. The chips are warm and tasty, and the baja seafood tacos are so delicious they’re trademarked. They feature marinated scallops and shrimp covered in bacon bits and muenster cheese.
For a Romantic Evening: El Barzon
Why it’s great: Though not in Mexicantown proper—it’s a couple miles northwest of the neighborhood—El Barzon is worth making the short trip. To put it simply, this is one of the best restaurants in Detroit. The outdoor patio is plenty romantic, with lovely hanging lights and a waterfall adding to the ambiance. And don’t be put off by the fact that it’s an Italian-Mexican restaurant—amazingly, the dual focus doesn’t dilute the quality of either style.
What to eat: The emphasis here is on housemade, artfully presented dishes. Locals heap praise on the enchiladas de mole poblano, which pair nicely with a cucumber cilantro margarita.
For Cheap, Authentic Tacos: Taqueria El Rey
Why it’s great: A sign outside advertises the “Best Grilled Chicken” in Detroit, and we won’t argue with that. It’s just a matter of debating which dish you should try it in, and we’ll take the tacos. Opt for carryout, then walk two blocks away and eat it in Clark Park.
What to eat: The tacos, of course, which come with cilantro and onions. And don’t even think of leaving without trying the horchata.